Sarah Childress was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee back in 1803 to Joel and Elizabeth. She was well educated attending the Moravians’ Salem Academy in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She met James at the home of Samuel P. Black, he was 19 she was 12. They were married in 1824.
The marriage lasted for 25 years they had no children as James was sterile due to an earlier surgery. In 1849, the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee where three months later James died of cholera. After James died she lived in their home until her passing some 42 years later. She never remarried and as it was during those days she always wore black.
What you may not know about Sarah Childress Polk is that her husband was James Polk, the 11th President of the United States. They were the only presidential couple to never have children while together, either biologically, adopted or from a previous marriage. Polk was and still is the only U.S. President to have the shortest retirement in history. He died just three months after leaving office.
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